COVID: Social gathering size can increase to 5 per group from 14 June – MTF

·Assistant News Editor
·4-min read

SINGAPORE — From 14 June, the size of social gatherings allowed in Singapore will be increased to five people, up from the current limit of two persons.

Up to five distinct visitors will also be allowed per household per day, up from the current limit of two, said the multi-ministry taskforce (MTF) on COVID-19 at a virtual press conference on Thursday (10 June).

"We will increase the current social gathering group size from two persons to five persons. We will increase the cap on the number of distinct visitors by households per day, likewise to five persons and we continue to encourage everyone to limit the number of social gatherings to no more than two a day," said Finance Minister Lawrence, who co-chairs the MTF.

The move is a "calibrated reopening" – dubbed Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) – and follows a drop in linked and unlinked COVID-19 cases in the country. 

Singapore's Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) period began on 16 May and will end on 13 June. This saw the imposition of stricter measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 following a spike in community cases.

Should the situation continue to improve, further easing of COVID-19 restrictions will follow from 21 June.

Increase in event size, capacity limits

Also to be increased from 14 June will be the limits on event size and venue capacity.

This will see attractions, including the two officially approved cruise pilots, allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity. Museums and public libraries will also be allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity.

Meanwhile, the occupancy limit for shopping malls and showrooms will be raised to one person per 10 sq m of gross floor area (GFA). This is up from the current limit of one per song per 16 sq m of GFA. 

For spectator sports, the crowd capacity limit will be set at 250 people with pre-event testing (PET) and 50 people with no PET. Mass participatory sporting events could also be allowed once again from 21 June, with the attendance limits set at 250 people with PET and 50 without PET.

Marriage solemnisations will be allowed to host up to 250 people with PET and up to 50 without PET, with the couple allowed to unmask for key moments, and guests allowed to momentarily unmask for photo-taking. 

"For marriage solemnisations held in the home, the hosting household will be able to invite up to five visitors (excluding members of the hosting household, the solemniser and vendors), or have up to 10 attendees in total (as per the current cap, including all attendees but excluding the solemniser and vendors), whichever is higher," said the Ministry of Health. 

For live performances, MICE events and congregational or worship services, the capacity limit will be raised to up to 250 people with PET and up to 50 people without PET. From 21 June, performers or presenters may also resume unmasking, while singing will also be allowed. 

The limit on funeral attendance size will remain at 20 persons at any point in time on all days. Barbecue pits and camp sites will also remained closed to the public.

Cinemas will be allowed to accept up to 250 persons with PET and 50 without PET from 14 June, while no food and beverages will be allowed to be served until 21 June. 

Gyms will only be allowed to hold indoor mask-off activities from 21 June, with indoor and outdoor classes capped at 39 people in groups of up to five persons. Safe distancing of at least two metres between individuals and three metres between groups must be maintained, said MOH.

The group size for hotel staycations will also be increased to five persons, while tour groups will be allowed up to 50 persons for conveyance tours. 

Massage establishments and hairdressers' salons will be allowed to resume services that do not require masks, while home-based businesses will also be allowed to operate with up to five unique visitors per day.

Wong warned that with increased activity levels as Singapore re-opens and resumes more activities, more cases will inevitably emerge. "There are still hidden cases in the community which can easily flare up, especially with this highly transmissible (Delta) variant."

He added, "We won't be able to eradicate all of these hidden or cryptic cases in the community, so we will have to learn to live with the virus, and then try our best to minimise transmission and minimise the risk of large clusters breaking out."

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